Tips to Prevent and Combat Residential Electrical Fires

Nearly every home in America has a powerful and primed source of fire at this very moment, and it's called electricity. From overloaded outlets to dated or defective wiring, there's likely to be at least one electrical fire hazard in some corner of your home. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that faulty electrical wiring in residential homes cause over 40,000 fires each year. Over the last decade, defective electrical wiring has caused an average of 350 deaths per year. According to the National Electrical Safety Foundation, homeowners can use the following fire prevention tips to help create a fire-proof home electrical system: * Use child-proof outlets to prevent small children from sticking an object into the outlets. * Do periodic checks of all electrical cords, replacing any damaged or frayed ones, untangling knotted cords, and ensuring that none have been placed under carpets or rugs. * Never overload outlets or extension cords. Although not always present, it could be a ...
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Worker Found Eligible for Compensation from Seizure Related Injury

In an August 2006 ruling, Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled that the claimant in the case of Michael G. Blakeslee Jr. vs. Platt Brothers & Co, who was injured when co-workers tried to help during a seizure, is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Typically, workplace injuries caused by a seizure wouldn't be eligible for compensation because the injuries arise from the medical condition itself and not from conditions in the work area. In the Blakeslee case, the claimant received two dislocated shoulders on February 13, 2002, when three co-workers tried to restrain him during his seizure. He had fallen near a large steel scale, and then started flailing his arms and legs as he regained consciousness. The claimant filed a workers' compensation claim contending that because the actual injury resulted from the restraint, and not the seizure itself, the shoulder injuries should be covered. The claimant argued that an injury received during the course of employment is eligible for compensation even if in ...
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10 Essential Hurricane Claim Tips

Hurricane Irene's destruction has left many people facing extensive property damage. Individuals who must file a claim have several things to do. First, make any emergency repairs that are necessary to prevent further damage. Don't attempt any non-emergency repairs until an insurance adjuster is able to assess the property. Be sure to take clear photos of the damage. Next, contact an individual insurance agent. If the number was lost in the damage, consult the Insurance Information Institute's list of claim phone numbers for various insurance companies. Before contacting an agent, consider the following common questions and valuable claim tips. 1. What To Do After Filing A Claim The most important thing to do is prevent further damage. Make sure property is secure, board broken windows, dry carpets and board damaged roofs. Don't attempt any major non-emergency repairs until an adjuster can see the damage. Keep receipts for emergency repair supplies and temporary accommodations. 2. How To Speed Up The Claim ...
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What Factors Influence Malpractice Premiums?

According to a November 2005 article published in the Insurance Journal entitled, "How to Write the Diverse Business of Lawyers Professional Liability," between $1.5 and $2 billion is spent annually on Professional Liability coverage. With numbers such as these, it is important that any firm in the market for this insurance understand the factors affecting coverage rates. Determining premium rates is a complex matter based on a combination of factors. However, there are two main factors insurers review when underwriting an insurance application. The first is your geographic location, because each state has a different risk assumption.  The level of risk is measured by the number of suits brought against other lawyers in your area. The second important factor is your practice area(s). You can expect to pay more for coverage if you specialize in high-risk areas such as securities, banking and/or real estate. Other factors that insurers consider include: ·        ...
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The Malpractice Cap: Order in the Court?

A few years ago, in a relatively small town in a quiet (not known for big lawsuits) area of the country, an Ob/Gyn (Obstetrics and Gynecology) doctor opened his new practice.  In helping the community while beginning to raise his family, he earned $300,000 in his second year.  Only seven years later, his malpractice insurance cost $300,000-and he had not reported a single claim! Jury awards for medical malpractice in the U.S. have reached dizzying heights, prompting young doctors to flee states like Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others. For example, a March 20, 2003 article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the number of practicing doctors in the state, younger than 35, had fallen from 12.4% in 1989 to a mere 4.7% in 2000.  Other states report similar rates of defection. Two other adverse results are astronomical insurance premiums for malpractice insurance, especially for thoracic and neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists and other specialists, and equally skyrocketing costs ...
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Umbrella Coverage: Protect Your Exposed Assets

There's no doubt that we live in a litigious society.  Jury awards continue to bankrupt individuals and many small companies.  Some trial lawyers constantly search for deep pockets, and reach far and wide for defendants.  Underwriters continue to be amazed to find seemingly unconnected insureds "invited to the dance." The most common protection for a business, or for an individual of means, to use against a crippling judgment, is an umbrella policy.  Umbrellas provide high limits of liability, usually with a small ($10,000 is typical-and this is sometimes waived) self-insured retention, above those offered by primary Commercial General Liability and Auto Liability policies.  Umbrellas may also provide coverage for certain losses not covered by primary policies.  Professional exposures such as Directors and Officers Liability or Errors and Omissions coverage, are excluded from "conventional" umbrella policies.  High limits for those risks are available from specialty markets ...
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Intellectual Property Liability Is Everywhere - But Where Is The Coverage?

It seems as though virtually anything created can be patented, copyrighted, trademarked or otherwise protected.  Oddly enough, even with patent protection there is danger. It is easy to believe that if you hold a patent, copyright or trademark you cannot possibly infringe on someone else's intellectual property - but that's not true. George Harrison certainly had a copyright on his song "My Sweet Lord" but that didn't prevent highly publicized and successful litigation against him due to its similarity to the old Shirelle's hit "He's So Fine" in the 1970's.   With an average cost of $1.2 million to litigate, patent infringement trials weigh in as one of the most expensive types of litigation in the US today.  What was once the realm of the individual like Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison, or the very nearly individual (think Wright Brothers), has now become big business.  IBM, which annually tops the list of companies applying for and receiving patents, has received over 22,000 patents ...
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Get the Motorcycle Insurance You Need without Sacrificing Coverage

Motorcycle owners may be a risky bunch by nature, but when it comes to motorcycle insurance, it is not a good idea to indulge that tendency. If you own a motorcycle, you need to have sufficient insurance coverage in place. Fortunately, there are some proven strategies motorcycle owners can use to trim their insurance costs, without sacrificing the coverage they need. Ride Carefully - Keep Your Driving Record Clean Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to keep your motorcycle insurance rates low is to be a careful and proactive rider. Keeping your driving record clean can significantly lower your insurance rates, so be sure to take safety into account each and every time you ride. If you are a new rider, consider enrolling in a safe biking course. You can often find these courses at your local community college. Many insurance companies provide discounts for riders who successfully complete a safety course, so it may be worth your time and effort. Choose Your Motorcycle Carefully Some motorcycles se ...
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Steer Clear of Car Break-Ins

One Saturday, Jenny stopped by the mall for some afternoon shopping. The parking lot was packed, but she found a space at the very back of the lot. After she ate some lunch and shopped for a few hours, Jenny strolled back to her car—only to find that her passenger window was broken, and her laptop and iPod were missing. Her heart plummeted into her stomach, and she wasn’t sure what to do. If you’ve ever walked into a parking lot or your own driveway to discover a thief has broken into your car, you’re probably all too familiar with that terrible sinking feeling. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to stop car robbers in their tracks. These criminals go for the simple jobs, so they usually choose vehicles that are parked in remote areas and have valuables in plain view. Don’t make yourself an easy target. Follow these five easy tips to steer clear of car break-ins: Tip #1: Choose your parking spot carefully. Car thieves generally target vehicles that are parked in ...
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Make Sure You Know What Your Condo Insurance Policy Covers

Despite the slump in the real estate market in recent years, many people find condominiums an attractive alternative to owning a separate dwelling. Typically, the condominium association is responsible for much or all of the building's maintenance. The selling price may be more affordable than free-standing homes in the same neighborhood. The structure may be younger and in better condition than separate dwellings in the same price range. For these reasons, owning a condo makes sense for many. Those who choose condos over separate dwellings, however, need to understand the proper way to insure their investments. While similar in many ways to homeowner's insurance policies, condominium unit owner policies have some significant differences. The most obvious difference is the subject of the insurance. A homeowner's policy insures against damage to a house and other structures on the property, such as an unattached garage or a fence. A condominium policy insures against damage to the condo unit, including altera ...
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